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Trump And The Republican Party…and the “Single Leader”

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On Friday, the Republicans in the Senate managed to block the vote on the bill establishing a commission to investigate the congressional invasion on January 6th. Only 6 of them supported the project. The proposed committee of ten non-political experts, with equal participation between the two parties, was expected to be approved some time ago and almost unanimously, as it relates to the issue of an unprecedented assault on the heart of the American system, and an attempt to intervene by force to prevent Congress from ratifying the Electoral College votes that were in favor of Joe Biden, There are those who believed that it was in its dimensions “more dangerous than the September 11 attacks”, and that the negligence in digging up its secrets and identifying those responsible for it might encourage its repetition.

However, the Republicans preferred to mobilize their ranks to block this step, for fear of former President Donald Trump, who warned them of the consequences of “falling into the committee’s trap”, and who implicitly promised to hold them accountable in the congressional elections in 2022 if they stood with the Democrats to secure the necessary number, 60 votes, to pass the commission. He is aware of the dangers of placing this file in the hands of a body of this type, equipped with broad powers to probe the details of the incident and its motives, the reasons for the security failure that accompanied it, and the failure to seek prior information about it, in addition to the fact that it may summon him to testify in the matter. The Republicans, who approached the commission’s issue with electoral calculus rather than partisan or constitutional calculus, acquiesced, fearing that Trump would turn their loyalist bases against them in the election. 61% of them still believe that the last election was “stolen from Trump.” 53% so far believe that “Trump is the president”.

Six months after the elections, his supporters are still reviewing the vote count in some states, such as Arizona, and intending to expand the recount to include other states, with the conviction that they are undertaking a process that may lead to a reconsideration of the results and the “presidency” of Trump! Loyalty unmatched in election history. The Republican Party’s acquiescence, “which its previous references will not be able to recognize”, has become Trump’s party, according to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. His words come in an extension of a continuous talk for months about the Republican Party’s “submission” to the former president and his practices that “threaten American democracy”, and the “risks that this may bring during the upcoming elections.”

And the more the warnings increase in this regard, the more the phenomenon of Trump as a powerful man who imposes on most Republicans complete obedience and loyalty, without being a historical Republican, will increase. This is a strange case in American political life. The structure of the system did not allow the birth of the kind of leadership that Europe knew between the first and second wars in the last century. From time to time, authoritarian leaders appeared on the scene, with their views taking over populist sectors and forming political currents that rebelled against the norm. But her experiences remained linked to the names of their owners, and ended with their departure from power or their absence from the scene. Among them is Republican Senator Joe McCarthy (1946-1957), who dominated the political scene in the early fifties of the last century, through his manic campaign against the “communist penetration” of the State Department apparatus, inciting his extremist supporters to launch a “crusade against the communists” in America. He attacked presidents, the party, and the military from his alleged position as “a patriot dedicated to protecting the real Americans.” In 1954, the Republicans lost the elections and were blamed, and that was the beginning of his extinction as a phenomenon, and never to return.

In the early 1960s, the scenario was repeated in a different tone. Alabama Governor George Wallace, a Democrat at first and a Republican last, fought the “forever discrimination” battle between whites and blacks, dragging with him several Southern states. But the wave caught its breath, and he declared his repentance and retracted his overt racism, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, during the days of President Lyndon Johnson, although removing discrimination from the texts did not uproot it from the souls.

Trump is from this faction, but in an enlarged manner. In his exercise of power, he is closer to the “single leader” that the republics of the Arab region have known. The difference is that he is governed by regulating institutions, although he tried to disrupt them and succeeded to some extent. His base adhered to him and still does, because she sees in him her desired image and distinction, and hears in his speech the echo of her feelings and apprehensions towards the “other”, both local and foreign. On the other hand, he strengthened her loyalty, to translate it by subjugating an ancient party to him, a defect that those who know do not hide their concern about its repercussions.

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